Parts of the Jamestown Board of Public Utilities service area were without power for at least an hour-and-a-half early last evening. The widespread outage was first reported to Jamestown Police shortly after 5 PM. BPU Spokeswoman Becky Robbins says the outage affected areas mainly on the city's south and west sides. Parts of the town of Ellicott... including West Ellicott... and, Kiantone were also affected. Robbins says the widespread outage was triggered by a "power fault" in a major line between the Carlson Generating Station... and, the Dow Street Substation. Jamestown police reported power was coming back to parts of the city about 6:30 PM. Everyone was back on about 7 PM. The cause of the fault remains under investigation.
Four people have been arrested... and, a large quantity of cocaine, and other drugs have been confiscated... in Cattaraugus County following a traffic stop -- and, three raids. Southern Tier Regional Drug Task Force officials say Sheriff's Deputies first pulled over 30 year-old Alexis Erickson of Allegany on Route 417 in Ellicottville early last weekend on a search warrant. Officers say she was found with about 11-thousand dollars of cocaine in her possession... and, she was jailed on a Felony count of criminal possession of a controlled substance. Task Force members then raided three apartments on Route 417 where Erickson lived. They arrested 26 year-old Jerome Hayes on warrants charging him with failure to appear on a number of charges -- including assault. Hayes was also charged with two Felony drug possession charges. He's accused of having nearly 9-grams of heroin in his possession... along with 16 Oxycodone tablets. He was arraigned... and, sent to the Cattaraugus County Jail on 50-thousand dollars bail. Two other men from Buffalo were also arrested with unlawful possesion of marijuana... and, released pending future court appearances. Investigators say more charges are pending.
Chautauqua County's Congressman feels the targeting of conservative groups... and, other problems revealed about the IRS... could be headed off with a simplified tax code. Corning Republican Tom Reed made his comments after the first of what are expected to be a number of hearings by the House Ways and Means Committee last Friday. Reed says most of the testimony by the man just forced out as Acting Chief of the Internal Revenue Service was "appalling." Reed says it's been confirmed that conservative groups got tougher scrutiny for their applications for tax exempt status. However... while Acting IRS Director Steve Miller apologized to the committee last Friday... he refused to acknowledge there was deliberate targeting of groups that have names like "Tea Party..." "Conservative.." or "Constitution" in their name. Reed adds he's upset that Miller wasn't immediately fired. Reed says it's all too apparent that the IRS had a "culture of targeting groups. Miller insisted that political bias wasn't the reason for the heightened scrutiny. He says the IRS was struggling to efficiently handle growing numbers of applications for the tax-exempt status. But... Reed says that's just a "convenient excuse."
A State Assemblyman accused of sexually harassing young female staffers for years says he will resign before he's expelled from the Legislature. Assemblyman Vito Lopez informed leaders on Saturday he will resign effective this morning. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver had planned a rare expulsion proceeding against Lopez beginning today. Lopez was once a powerful Brooklyn Democratic leader and has been in the Assembly's Democratic majority since 1984. Two reports released last week detailed lurid accusations of sexual harassment of several women on his staff, but neither report found proof of a crime. Silver was trying to expel Lopez on the basis of apparently violating Assembly policies against sexual harassment and retaliation. The state ethics board has also accused Lopez of civil violations of the Public Officer's Law.
Seneca Nation of Indians President Barry Snyder says Governor Cuomo of taking part in ``playground bully tactics'' over their casino disagreement. The comments come a day after the governor said the Senecas could lose their ability to operate casinos after their compact expires in 2016. At issue is more than 500-million dollars in casino payments the Senecas have withheld from the state since 2009. The Seneca's claim the state has violated the compact by allowing video slot machines into facilities within the compact area.
The New York state parks system is adding 36 new officers to the ranks of its police force responsible for safety at 179 parks and 35 historic sites. Officials with the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation announced this week that 36 recruits have graduated from the New York State Park Police Academy in Rensselaerville... which is just outside Albany. It's the agency's first training academy graduation since 2008. Academy classes were put on hold because of state budget cuts brought on by the recession. Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey says the class of 2013 represents the beginning of the rebuilding of the Park Police force and the entire state parks system. The 36 recruits will be assigned to regional commands throughout the state.